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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Why do I even bother?


{Polina Fan}

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I've danced for 10 years.

I'm 13 years old.

I started point when I was 11/12.

 

I recently took a long hiatus from ballet, and I'm trying to decide if I want to go back or not.

 

I LOVE ballet. I LOVE to dance it. Problem is, I NEVER GET TO. When I was very avid with ballet, I get 5 classes a week, 1 hour and 30 minutes each. I did ballet so I could perform. I want to dance variations. I want to dance in front of people. But I never get to. Our studio hosts a bunch of shows, and I've never gotten into ONE of them. There are 3 different girls that get the "good parts" and the rest of us sort of become "stage furniture" as I call it. We get placed in the background and move our arms, that's about it. When we did Junior Company (small performing group) none of us but the 3 amazing dancers got parts where they got to move. Everyone else was in the background. And the Jr. Company teacher never really focused on us, mainly the 3 girls.

 

So I decided it wasn't worth my time, and quit, and now I'm trying to decide if I want to go back. I dance ballet ALL around the house. I find myself practicing and memorizing variations at 2 AM on school nights! I want to perform, but I never ever get the chance. I want to show my teachers how I can REALLY dance. I do so much better when I am dancing a variation, or dancing to my own music. I look like an actual ballerina. I'm able to express myself. I feel good about myself. When I'm doing background dancing with the school performances, I feel like I could just walk off the stage and nobody would notice.

 

Anyone have some advice/tips?

Thanks!

-PF

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Maybe you could take classes at another studio? I don't know if there is the possibility to do so in your area, but maybe another studio would enable you to perform in the way you desire!

Is it ballet, that's important to you, or performing? If it's performing, maybe you should try some other style of dancing - I guess it's "easier" to get an "active" part in a hip hop or jazz performance.

If you love dancing so much, I would definitely advise you to go back to ballet classes, even if it's only three girls in your studio that get the leading parts in performances - one day it might be you! Just work on your technique and one day you might be better than those three girls! Then it's your turn to perform actively!

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  • Administrators

Polina Fan, I would like you to read over your post again and really think about it. You say "I LOVE ballet. I LOVE to dance it." That is great. But then you say that you "Never get to", followed by the fact that you were taking 5 classes a week. That is a very nice amount of classes for a 13 year old! Is your feeling about dancing ONLY about performing? Do you yet have the same technical ability as those who receive the leading roles? Are they perhaps a bit older than you are?

 

While we do not condone young dancers giving advice, nor responding on this forum prior to the teacher/moderators, Anina did actually have some very good thoughts, and, she asked a VERY pertinent question..."Is it ballet that is important to you, or performing?" Yes, ballet is a performing art, but one must first acquire the technique and earn the roles by showing the qualities necessary for the roles which are being given. At 13, and only on pointe a short time, and then quitting, one would have to question your real love of ballet.

 

I am afraid that I will also have to question your use of "background", as opposed to being a part of the corps de ballet, which is where everyone starts, even in a professional company. Learning to perform in the corps is a very important part of your training. Not everyone will be a soloist or principal dancer, and almost no one will ever do that professionally without dancing in the corps de ballet first.

 

Now, all of that said, if you feel that you are being overlooked and not trained well enough in that particular studio, and you REALLY do love ballet, including every single class every day, then perhaps Anina is also right to suggest that you look for a different school. However, I would think about all of this very carefully before doing that. The most important thing at this point in time is the training, not the performing, unless you want to perform other forms of dance. Sometimes, when you are only 13 or so, priorities can become a bit confused, so, we are not trying to discourage you at all, but just to have you examine those priorities a bit, and rethink some of the things you are feeling right now. :wub: :wub:

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I am sorry, Ms. Leigh, for posting prior to a teacher/moderator! Please delete my post since I just realized I posted on the "Young Dancers:13-16" Board and I am already 17!

I am very sorry about this mistake! :devil:

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  • Administrators

Anina, it's okay. It's a good post, and I'm not going to delete it! Just remember to wait next time. :devil:

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I think that what matters is whether or not taking classes makes you happy? Because the majority of your time, you'll be taking technique class. Is it worth the wait to get the good parts, is it even worth just being able to dance? If the answer to these questions are a possible yes, then I think you should really consider this. I wanted to quit before winter break, but break made me realize its not ballet, Its all the stress with school and stuff going on right now.

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